More and more Americans are escaping the mounting costs of increasing college tuition by opting to attend colleges and universities abroad, and more specifically, in Europe.
According to Jennifer Viemont, founder of advising service Beyond The States, there are at least 44 schools across Europe where Americans can earn a bachelor's degree for free.
Most public colleges in Germany, Czech Republic, Iceland, Greece, Norway and Finland are free for residents and international students. Some private schools in the European Union don't charge tuition either.
According to CNN Money, student loan debt is $1.2 trillion in the U.S. and is increasing by $2,853.88 per second. The news organization reported that 40 million Americans, a group larger than the populations of Canada, Australia and 200 other countries, have student loan debt.
"The cost is what makes people think about going to college abroad, but then they start to see the other benefits, like learning a new language, travel opportunities and being prepared to work in a global economy," Viemont said.
"I 100 percent have my heart set on staying in Europe," Hannah Remo, a student from New Jersey studying at the Hague University in Netherlands, told CNN. "I disagree with the way a lot of things are run at home. It blows my mind that college is so expensive in the U.S., it makes me think that I don't want to raise a family there."
Remo continued: "Whether you're the child of a doctor, lawyer or garbage man, you'll have the same opportunity and the same education here."
But while a college education may be much cheaper in Europe, most options there don't include dining halls or on-campus housing; students are encouraged to find their own sources of food and housing -- though living arrangements are often less expensive than close-to-campus options at American schools. Plus, most European universities don't have the same fraternity and sorority organizations as those at American colleges, and football as Americans know it isn't a part of popular athletics. The word football is the European term for what Americans call soccer.
"I don't really have any plans to go back to America," Chelsea Workman, an American student studying at the University of Deggendorf in Germany, told CNN. "I don't really want to. My sister moved to Germany before me, my brother is here studying now and my dad is on the way over."
The only thing Workman said she misses? The food.
"Every restaurant here has the same food on the menu," she said.
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